Written by Maeven Eller-Five
A Working Altar
As you grow on your spiritual path, it is essential to learn how to make the most of your altar. Our altars can be a big part of our day to day practice when we walk a sacred path. As altars come in all shapes and sizes, yours should reflect your spiritual interests and tastes. There is no one right way to create and tend to an altar.
A Reflection Of You
The size of your altar is up to you. It can be very organic, growing and develop as you do. It can also be very structured based on one specific practice or deity that calls to you. You can adorn your altar with statuary, stones, and any representation of elements that appeal to you.
Where To Place Your Altar
You may place your altar in different directions based upon your intent. Many Earth Religion traditions believe it should face the East, welcoming the first light of day. Where you place your altar should depend upon your faith and practice.
There is any number of items generally found on an altar. Commonly we see objects that represent the four elements. Many place pieces of statuary representing our spiritual practice there. You may also place anything that enhances your focus and intent.
Ways To Have A Working Altar
Part of having a working altar is to keep it fresh, clean, and seasonal. When we work within the turning wheel, our altars take on a deeper meaning for us.
There are several ways to work with your altar on a monthly basis:
- Keep a vessel to hold your monthly petitions during New and Full Moon.
- Have a special candle you light for friends and family in need of help or healing. Remember, never leave a candle burning unattended.
- Designate a heat safe place to burn sacred herbs, incense, and resins.
- Leave your offerings there.
- Arrange your stones and crystals with like items.
- Store ritual tokens and special items that hold energy and special meaning there.
- Place your tarot or affirmation deck on your altar. Turn one each day for divination or to help you learn your cards.
To make the most of your altar the thing it needs the very most is your energy and attention. Give it your focus and a refresh whenever it’s needed and it will serve you well.
A helpful resource if you feel you need more guidance is the book entitled Your Altar by Sandra Kynes.